Get Ready for A Day Without Water!

No, we’re not shutting off the pipes. CWEP and our member counties and municipalities are gearing up for A Day Without Water, an annual awareness event run by the Value of Water Campaign, or VWC. The VWC works to educate people about how much water they use and how we can get smarter about our water usage so that “a day without water” can be a pithy title, not reality.

Wanna get started on the fun? Head over to the water calculator to see how much water your household uses in a day. The results may surprise you! And if you do find the number as shocking as we did, no need to worry! The calculator gives you tips and tricks on how to save water — and the planet.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach and want to better understand how the water from your faucet gets there, consider booking a tour at a water and wastewater treatment plant in Raleigh, Durham, or Hillsborough. You can also check with your local plant for their tour options. Tours are free of charge and range from 1 to 3 hours. It’s a great after school activity! Make sure to act fast, however, as tour requests typically must be made at least two weeks in advance (so if you want to go on A Day Without Water, you’ll need to request a tour by Thursday, September 28th!).

We’ll be posting in the coming weeks about more ways you can get involved, but if you just can’t wait to learn more, you can check out more information who’s participating and the event itself on the website.

You can learn more about the VWC here.

Spotlight on Garner: Stormwater Program of the Month

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Garner, a tiny town with a huge commitment to stormwater management. Check out their unique solutions and exciting community events below!
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Volunteers Needed!

Help keep Garner Clean & Green!
 
Who: The Town of Garner
What: Semi-annual street and stream cleanup
When: Saturday, September 16 from 9-11am
Where: White Deer Park, 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner, NC 27529
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Breakfast, cleanup supplies, and water provided free of charge to all volunteers. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for more information about the event.

 
Did you know?
Town of Garner received the 2017 NC Source Water Protection Award of Excellence along with PEG Media partners, which help direct, film and edit all of Garner’s informative stormwater videos. Garner has been making these videos for several years, helping residents know what they can do to help keep our water supply clean and free from pollutants. Check out the videos at these links:
 
Water Quality:
 
Pet Waste:
 
Illicit Discharge:
 
 Little Town, Big Success
 
Garner prides itself on being a small town with a reputation for being customer friendly, but did you know they have a top-notch storm water program as well? For over 30 years, Garner has been performing stormwater management and watershed planning to protect local waterways and Lake Benson from pollutants and downstream flooding. New and innovative stormwater control measures have been designed and built on town properties and both new and redevelopment. This commitment to responsible stormwater management can be seen at parks such as White Deer and Lake Benson as well as on the new Town Hall campus.
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Help us keep up the good work by coming out to the semi-annual street and stream cleanup! We’ll be picking up litter that would otherwise flow into Lake Benson and pollute our drinking water. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for further information.
 
Questions? We’re here for you
For more information or specific questions, please contact Jaclyn Sumner, Stormwater Program Administrator in the Town of Garner Engineering Department (p) 919-773-4421|jsumner@garnernc.gov

Stormwater Program of the Month – Raleigh!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month features the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division, which is part of the City’s Engineering Department. Check out their great programs and opportunities below!

Stormwater Monitoring Workshop

Discover Raleigh’s Streams This Summer!

Learn how you can explore and keep a stream in your neighborhood clean by taking part in the Stormwater Management Division’s upcoming Stream Monitoring Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at Walnut Creek Wetland Center, 950 Peterson Street, Raleigh.  You will learn four easy steps to collecting samples from a stream that will help the City of Raleigh track the health of local waterways. The workshop is free for Raleigh residents and includes year-long monitoring supplies. Learn more and register online at http://www.raleighnc.gov/home/news/content/CorNews/Articles/StreamMonitoring.html

Stormwater Video Award Winners

This year’s recipients of the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division’s Streams & Stormwater Video Competition were named at the 2017 Environmental Awards, a ten-year celebration of individuals and organizations who display a commitment to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability.

Congratulations to Julian Simoes (1st place – “Be the Change”); Chloe Wen and her classmates (2nd place – “Cup of H2O”); and Jacob Fletcher, Carla Fuller, and Anton Baeza (3rd place – “Chaplin’s Lament”)!

Stormwater Successes in Raleigh

The City of Raleigh is always advancing their stormwater management in innovative, effective, and sustainable ways. Here are some highlights of this great program!

  • The City’s Drainage Assistance Program plans to complete more projects over the next two years that address drainage concerns on private property. A recent policy change also eliminated the cost-share portion of the program making it more affordable for Raleigh residents.
  • The Capital Improvement Program will nearly $24 million worth of projects over the next year to offer sustainable stormwater infrastructures in Raleigh’s neighborhoods that reduce flooding and limit erosion.
  • Additional Flood Hazard Mitigation Efforts continue to remove and restore flood-prone properties that were built prior to the current floodplain development regulations. Restoring the area to green space improves public safety in flood-prone areas and once again allows for natural function of the floodplain.
  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure efforts continue to establish policies, procedures, and resources that will include Green Stormwater Infrastructure in new development and redevelopment and bring innovative stormwater treatment options to the City of Raleigh.

For more information or specific questions, please contact Kristin Freeman, Communications Specialist for the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division (p) 919-996-4128 | (c) 919-817-4594 | kristin.freeman@raleighnc.gov

 

 

How Washing your Car at Home Contributes to Stormwater Pollution

Check out this great video from Wellington Water in New Zealand about how to keep your car wash activities from polluting our water! All communities face the same stormwater challenges we do, so we can all learn from each other when it comes to cleaning up. Take a look and see what you can do differently this summer to reduce your stormwater impact, and tell your friends and neighbors when you see them washing their cars!

When it comes to stormwater pollution, sharing is NOT caring!

Our everyday activities can really contribute to stormwater pollution if we aren’t careful. Trash, litter, pet waste, sediment, fertilizers, oil, you name it – it can end up in the storm drain and on its way to the nearest stream before you know it! Of course, that pollution can have a major impact on the fish and other animals that live in those streams, ponds, and rivers where the pollution ends up. What would happen if the fish could tell us they didn’t appreciate us sharing our dirty stormwater with them?

Check out the video below to see what happened when Jonny Fishpatrick was fed up with the stormwater pollution being dumped in his home, and imagine how this could be happening in your neighborhood!

Did you know that good old fashioned dirt is actually a MAJOR stormwater pollutant?!

What happens to dirt in stormwater?

When soil, dirt, sand, clay, or other tiny bits of earth end up in stormwater, we then call it “sediment” because those pieces can eventually settle out to the bottom of a body of water. However, moving water such as stormwater runoff through our neighborhoods and cities keeps the sediment from settling and can cause serious problems for water quality.

What does sediment do in the environment?

Sediment pollution creates many issues in the environment; here are just a few!

  • Clogs fish gills and suffocates small insects and other animals;
  • Creates murky, cloudy water that blocks sunlight from reaching plants;
  • Transports hundreds of other chemicals and pollutants to our drinking water that are hitching a ride on the sediment;
  • Encourages growth of toxic algae that can make people and animals sick;
  • Completely changes the course of a river or stream by depositing new banks!

What can we do to reduce stormwater pollution from sediment?

Sediment can come from many sources, such as construction sites or digging, erosion when vegetation has been removed, and even just dust and grime from your driveway, car, and sidewalk. You can help keep this dirt from getting in our streams and rivers by sweeping up instead of hosing down!

If you see muddy brown water being deliberately sent into the storm drain like in the photo below, or if you see lots of sediment coming from a construction site, call your local water department (contact info here) and let them know right away.

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The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is back in action!

The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is a group of local citizens, government entities, and other stakeholders that originally met quarterly to discuss and implement plans to conserve and protect the Robeson Creek watershed. CWEP Partners including the Town of Pittsboro, Chatham County, and others support and are involved in this Council. Protection of the Robeson Creek area is an important component of the health of the Haw River, which is a main contributor to Jordan Lake. The group has not convened in recent years but has been rejuvenated with a great Council meeting on May 25, 2017.

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The team hopes to embark on many new conservation, rehabilitation, and watershed protection projects and goals moving forward. Check out the Robeson Creek Watershed Council brochure to learn more about the group, or follow them on Twitter at @RobesonCreek.

 

 

Mow High, and Let the Clippings Lie…

It’s heating up out there, and the grass is certainly responding! Many of us know we’ll need to mow frequently over the next few months, but we may not know that yard waste, such as those lawn clippings, is actually a stormwater pollutant that can have a big impact on water quality. Check out the CWEP video below starring the Sodfather, and learn about what you can do to help keep stormwater runoff clean as we do our summer landscaping!

The Basement Guide to Water Pollution

Thanks to Tyler with the Green Teens Club for sending over this great resource on water pollution! This infographic from Basement Guides offers a lot of interesting information on sources of contaminants in your home, as well as additional data on pollution around the world. Click on the image below to take a look at their site!

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Also check out the Green Teens Club website below to find more information about environmental issues, as well as see the cool work the Club is doing in their area. Maybe you’ll want to start your own club!

http://www.greenteensclub.org/